I know what you’re thinking: fudge?---simple, healthy living ideas, my ass! But hold on. Let’s say you have decided to try to be the healthiest you can be and you want to make good choices for yourself. Do you really see the rest of your life without any fudge? Not me. I think healthy people should have fudge once in a while, if they want it.
So I was having lunch with Bernadine (we go way back) and I was, once again, explaining what my blog is. I explained to her that I cook a person’s favorite with them, then write an article about it and put it on the internet. This would be something the person really likes or is really good at or some kind of story like that. And Bernadine said, “I make fudge.”
She went on to say that this is really good fudge made the old-fashioned way. Yup, she beats it by hand. Her entire family enjoys it during the holidays and some years she has sold many batches.
I knew this was going to be good. So, my photographer (Marlo) and I spent a cozy evening with Bernadine at her home and she took me through all the steps.
When we arrived she had the saucepan (3 qt) buttered and her recipe on the counter.
Yes, that is the entire recipe. I agree, most of us need a little more direction. And I knew I was in the right place to get that.
Right away she melted everything together and then poured the mixture into another container. She washed the 3-quart saucepan, buttered it, and then poured the mixture back into it. She said this helps keep it from sugaring. While the mixture boiled, we set the time for 10 minutes and then sat back and laughed. Not sure what about, but laughter comes easily when we are together. And Marlo makes it even more so. She told us how she got started teaching dance lessons for Arthur Murray in El Paso, Texas, and she still teaches ballroom dance at BSC.
When the ten minutes was done, she started testing the temperature by dropping a spoonful of the hot mixture into a small bowl of cold water to see if it would form a soft ball. She also used a candy thermometer and she decided it was ready a bit before the temperature reached 234 degree F.
She took the saucepan off the heat and put it on the counter at room temperature, we waited some more. When the saucepan was cool enough to be able to hold it in your lap and stir it, I started beating it for a short while. She added the butter and vanilla and nuts and then took over stirring. She said she waits for it to lose its gloss and it did not take long. She poured it into an aluminum foil lined, buttered pan and spread it out. It was beautiful and so delicious!
We walked out of her home and the snow had fallen lightly. What a beautiful ending to a lovely evening with Bernadine!
Here’s the entire recipe. Bernadine did say that no matter how many times she has done this, every once in a while, it won’t turn out well. So no guarantees, but give it a try! Let me know what you think.